Having made a very moving film about an incredibly important issue, Ted Braun has come to tell the story behind his brilliant Sudan exposé, Darfur Now.
Ondi and Vlad get the details behind the launch of the project, enlisting Don Cheadle to be a cameraman, and the trying circumstances that go along with working with the Sudanese government. It is a fascinating show about one of the most heart wrenching conflicts on Earth, which has drawn the attention of heads of state and George Clooney, alike.
Ted Braun was born in Kansas City, Kansas and grew up in rural Vermont. He studied English at Amherst College and film production at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and later taught screenwriting at both institutions; he’s currently an Assistant Professor in screenwriting at USC.
He has written and directed several award-winning documentaries and fictional films, on topics ranging from test pilots of aviation’s golden age, to the historical Jesus, to the struggle for the civil rights of developmentally disabled citizens. He spent the first four months of 2007 in Sudan filming Darfur Now with unprecedented access to the internally displaced people of Darfur, international aid workers, the government and the rebels. Darfur Now (07) is his first theatrical documentary.
00:01 BYOD opening.
01:00 Welcoming Ted Braun.
02:01 “How did you get involved in these projects about African politics?”
03:11 Beginning the research for the project.
04:11 Telling a story that is still unfolding.
05:01 “How did you select the six characters that the film focused on?”
07:31 Darfur Now, Clip. The opening of the film.
10:48 The options for refugees in Darfur.
12:42 The DVD boon to the documentarian (bonus footage).
13:39 Clip. Six characters, one cause.
14:49 Assembling the voices of the movie.
19:08 The difficulties in making the prosecutor and Don Cheadle accessible.
19:50 Bringing the audience into the life in Darfur, and the need of a woman cinematographer.
21:09 Having Don Cheadle film himself and George Clooney.
22:37 Clip of Don Cheadle and George Clooney travelling to meet with politicians.
26:05 Ineffectual results in prosecuting the crimes.
28:18 Clip of the prosecutors.
30:25 “What is the recourse?” Murdered subjects.
35:02 Bonus clip of the murder in the camp.
38:53 Getting access in Sudan and rebel territory.
44:33 Ondi gets arrested for filming in Mali.
45:22 Financing and distribution through Participant Film, and their support.
48:05 The downsides to dealing with large film studios.
50:04 The widespread release and difficult box office for genocide.
50:44 The first character Ted found, and his dreams for the future.
52:40 The progression of divestment from Sudan–a red state/blue state issue.
53:45 “How did you become a filmmaker?”
56:42 Clip: “One of the most meaningful days of shooting.”
58:58 The transformation of the perception of America by Africans.
01:01:05 The Daily Dig Down (docuweeks, “Misrepresentation,” “The Exorcist in the 21st Century,” Morgan Spurlock, “All in: The Poker Movie.”)
01:07:25 Thanks and goodbye.